National Eating Disorders Association

Those who know me well know that I’m naturally drawn to the dark. My mind always goes to the worst case scenario. My first thought after a positive thing happens in my life is: great, but when is the other shoe going to drop? You might say that I’m a pessimist, or cynical (my mother often does) but, honestly, I try to be positive about things. Maybe it’s that I believe preparing for the worst always leaves you to be wonderfully surprised by the median outcome, rather than being disappointed or shocked when things don’t go your way. 

“Dear Melody” is an advice column by Dr. Melody Moore, a clinical psychologist, yoga instructor and the founder of the Embody Love Movement Foundation. Her foundation is a non-profit whose mission is to empower girls and women to celebrate their inner beauty, commit to kindness, and contribute to meaningful change in the world. Dr. Moore is a social entrepreneur who trains facilitators on how to teach programs to prevent negative body image and remind girls and women of their inherent worth.

I know you love your daughter, and this may be hard to hear, but I’m concerned about how she feels about herself.

You’ve raised someone who is very strong and level-headed. You may think she engages in irresponsible activities, but going out on her own and exploring new experiences is normal for a young woman.

She doesn't mean to get herself into dangerous situations, and when it does happen, getting punished or yelled at will not work.

She needs to be heard.

Ah, summer. No school, no deadlines, and no obligations. In their place: cookouts, pool parties, beach trips, vacations, etc. Life is easy-breezy, a two-month-long, Instagram-worthy holiday. 

But—what if your summer isn’t this? What if your summer is actually a story of unstated (but ubiquitous) pressures? The pressure to be easy-going, fun-loving, and spontaneous. To socialize all the time. And of course, to show off that mythical “bikini-body.”

I know how anorexia makes you feel. You think she is your best friend; you think she can solve everything. She holds you in the night when you feel alone. She walks down the road with you reassuring you that you are valued. She teaches you how to miss meals and you become a team. A team with a unique bond that no one can break. A team that you believe will lead to an amazing life. A team that completes you. But no – the team will fail! 

Music is such a fantastic outlet for those of us looking for comfort, meaning, and inspiration. We are so lucky to have so many musicians coming out with tracks that are aimed at body positivity, self-love, and breaking societal standards. Here are 11 songs you may want to add to your summer playlist if you want to know just how good you really are!

Day 28: Tuesday “I forgot how miserable I really used to be...I want my life. I want a personality. I want hobbies. I want love. I want feeling, I want confidence. I can’t have those things along with ED. So goodbye ED. Goodbye forever. I want recovery more than ever.”

“Be sure to eat your vegetables.” For me, this saying was an everyday staple of my childhood, and although it has been nearly half a decade since I last lived with my parents, I still try my best to follow a healthy diet and lead a healthy lifestyle. During my freshman and sophomore years in college, though, I entrapped myself in this philosophy to the point that I was becoming withdrawn from my friends and creating a relationship with food that was devoid of enjoyment at both the social and sensory levels.

I have always been entranced by gymnasts: they are agile and strong, graceful and confident, fluid and fierce. Come the summer Olympics, I am always eager to see the gymnasts tumble, flip, twirl, and seemingly defy gravity. As a dancer, I understand that more work goes into making a routine look effortless, and I also know that what we see in a performance isn’t the whole story. Gymnasts are athletes and artists, and their bodies are their instrument.

Simple living was a concept first introduced to me back in 2008, when I attended sleepaway camp for the first time. It was an all-girls traditional camp in the middle of Maine. I remember the initial feeling of exhilaration as I drove up the main road on my first day. The camp reminded me a lot of the one in The Parent Trap: the vast lake, the green and white uniforms, the campers abundant with glee and moxie.